Life expectancy continues to increase in Australia

Media Release
Released
4/11/2020

Life expectancy in Australia continues to increase, with a boy born today expected to live to 80.9 years and a girl to 85.0 years, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"Male life expectancy has increased by 0.2 years since 2016-2018, and by 1.6 years in the past ten years. Female life expectancy has increased by 0.1 years since 2016-2018, and by 1.1 years in the past decade," ABS Demography Director Lauren Ford said.

Life expectancy for males has improved at a faster rate than that for females. Around 30 years ago (1988), life expectancy at birth in Australia was 73.1 years for males and 79.5 years for females, a gap of 6.4 years. The gap has now narrowed to 4.1 years in 2017-2019.

"Australians have a higher life expectancy than comparable countries, such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA," Ms Ford said.

Today an Australian male aged 50 years can expect to live another 32.9 years, and a female another 36.3 years. "This is longer than life expectancies at birth, as most 50 year olds have successfully made it through the first several decades of life".

States and territories

Victoria recorded the highest male life expectancy (81.8 years), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (81.6 years), Western Australia (80.9 years), New South Wales (80.7 years), South Australia (80.4 years), Queensland (80.3 years) and Tasmania (79.5 years).

The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest female life expectancy (85.6 years), closely followed by Victoria (85.5 years) and Western Australia (85.4 years), then New South Wales (85.0 years), Queensland (84.8 years), South Australia (84.7 years) and Tasmania (83.6 years).

The Northern Territory recorded the lowest life expectancy for both males and females (75.5 years and 80.6 years). Despite this, male and female life expectancies in the Northern Territory showed the largest gains of all the states and territories over the last decade (2.2 years and 1.6 years).

Further details are in Life Tables, 2017-2019. Australia, state, territory and sub-state information is also available for free download from the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au.

Life expectancy at birth, states, territories and Australia - selected years
200920182019Change: 2009-2019Change : 2018-2019
Australia(a)
Malesyears79.380.780.91.60.2
Femalesyears83.984.985.01.10.1
New South Wales
Malesyears79.580.680.71.20.1
Femalesyears84.384.985.00.70.1
Victoria
Malesyears79.781.781.82.10.1
Femalesyears84.185.385.51.40.2
Queensland
Malesyears79.180.280.31.20.1
Femalesyears83.884.784.81.00.1
South Australia
Malesyears79.380.480.41.10.0
Femalesyears83.984.784.70.80.0
Western Australia
Malesyears79.580.580.91.40.4
Femalesyears84.185.185.41.30.3
Tasmania
Malesyears77.979.379.51.60.2
Femalesyears82.283.283.61.40.4
Northern Territory
Malesyears73.375.575.52.20.0
Femalesyears79.080.280.61.60.4
Australian Capital Territory
Malesyears80.581.281.61.10.4
Femalesyears84.385.385.61.30.3

a. Includes Other Territories

Media Notes

  • Statistics in this publication predate COVID-19.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.